Brakes up to snuff? Better be. CVSA Brake Check runs this week

By Land Line staff | 9/8/2015

If the scales and roadside blitzes seems a bit more plentiful, it’s because the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s Brake Safety Week, which is a weeklong brake safety campaign aimed at improving commercial vehicle brake safety, is going on now through Saturday, Sept. 12.

Operation Airbrake is an international truck and bus brake safety campaign dedicated to improving commercial vehicle brake safety throughout North America. The campaign’s aim is to help educate drivers and technicians, encourage brake safety compliance, and enforce the regulations designed to ensure safe operation.
Enforcement agencies conducting an unannounced multi-jurisdiction enforcement campaign to promote brake safety say the operation resulted in roughly 14 percent of all vehicles ordered out of service for brake violations.

CVSA’s annual unannounced brake check day was held on May 6. CVSA-certified inspectors in 32 participating U.S. states and Canadian provinces and territories checked brakes on 6,337 commercial motor vehicles, as part of the agency’s Operation Airbrake program. The annual unannounced brake check one-day event gives enforcement an opportunity to conduct brake-focused inspections and emphasize the importance of proper brake system maintenance through education and outreach.

Nine percent were placed out of service for out-of-adjustment brakes, compared with 9.5 percent in 2014. Another 490 vehicles (7.7 percent) were placed out of service for brake component violations such as cracked or missing components; air leaks; or damaged brake hose or tubing, drums or rotors. All told, roughly 14.2 percent of all vehicles were placed out of service for brake violations of any kind compared with 15.2 percent last year.

CVSA claims more than 50,000 individual wheel ends were checked throughout North America during the one-day event. Based on their findings, CVSA states that brakes equipped with manual adjusters were “2.5 times more likely” to be out of adjustment than those equipped with self-adjusting hardware. Self-adjusting brakes equipped with automatic slack adjusters are required on all commercial vehicles with air brakes operating in the U.S. if manufactured after Oct. 20, 1994, or in Canada if manufactured after May 31, 1996.

Brake-related violations composed nearly half (46.2 percent) of all out-of-service violations cited during Operation Airbrake’s companion International Roadcheck campaign in 2014, which is focused on both vehicles and drivers. Improperly installed or poorly maintained brake systems can reduce the braking capability and increase stopping distances of trucks and buses, which pose a serious risk to driver and public safety.

Click here to view a chart of the data collected from each participating jurisdiction during 2015 Brake Check Day.

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